Eric Reid: Malcolm Jenkins asked 'how much will it take for you to stop' kneeling?

Last week’s conflict between Eric Reid and Malcolm Jenkins left a lot of unanswered questions.

We knew that the confrontation ahead of the game between the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles stemmed from disagreement over social justice protests during the national anthem and the NFL funding of the Players Coalition. Reid called Jenkins out by name in the locker room.

“We believe a lot of players should have stepped up for Colin,” Reid said last Sunday. “I believe Malcolm capitalized on the situation, he co-opted the movement that was started by Colin [Kaepernick] to get his organization funded. It’s cowardly. He sold us out.”

That organization is the Players Coalition, a group headed by Jenkins and former NFL receiver Anquan Boldin.

Reid explains why he thinks Jenkins is a sellout

On Sunday, Reid provided some clarity on what led to him having to be separated from Jenkins prior to the game.

Reid described negotiations that took place between players and owners over kneeling during the national anthem. But it was his account of Jenkins’ role that really pinpointed the source of his anger.

 

Reid: Jenkins asked me to stop protesting

“Malcolm called and asked me if I would stop protesting — ‘be comfortable ending my demonstrations’ were his words — if the NFL made a donation to the Players Coalition,” Reid said. “I tried not to blow a gasket and tell him no. Then he asked me, ‘Well how much? How much will it take for you to stop?'”

“So I ended that conversation with him. I told the other players who were involved with the coalition the content of our conversation. We then removed — a couple players, myself and I think three or four others removed ourselves from the Players Coalition via tweet.”

That statement goes a long way in explaining the vast gulf between Reid and Jenkins and exactly why Reid views Jenkins as a sellout.

Players Coalition accepted almost $90M from NFL

The Players Coalition accepted almost $90 million in funding from the NFL. Jenkins and Boldin have been using those funds to raise awareness for ballot initiatives ahead of November’s elections on issues like gerrymandering and mass incarceration while getting out the vote.

Those are certainly issues that Jenkins and Reid would see eye-to-eye on.

But it’s the perceived quid pro quo that has incensed Reid. Ending the protests for a price negotiated with NFL owners all while Kaepernick remains without a job is a source of disgust for Reid — the very definition of selling out.

Reid: Jenkins stopped his protests after negotiations

And according to Reid, that’s exactly what Jenkins did.

“That Sunday Malcolm stopped protesting,” Reid said. “I think he said something along the lines, I think it’s time for everybody to stop protesting. And he didn’t protest the rest of the year.”

Reid, meanwhile, remains one of the few players in the NFL who kneels during the national anthem.

Reid also labeled Jenkins as a neo-colonialist, referring to a colonial practice of a conquering nations to install a resident of the developing nation to enforce their bidding. Basically, he sees Jenkins as the inside man for the owners.

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Eric Reid protesting during the national anthem
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Eric Reid protesting during the national anthem
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18: Eric Reid #35 and Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 46-27. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25: (L-R) fFee safety Eric Reid #35, quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 and outside linebacker Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sidelines during the national anthem before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle,Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the National Anthem prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 6: Eli Harold #58. Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the anthem prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 33-21. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 15: Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on October 16, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills defeated the 49ers 45-16. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 23: Eric Reid #35, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to their NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 16: Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (not shown) and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the national anthem before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on October 16, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13: Eric Reid #35, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, the game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 23-20. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 27: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels dugout the National Anthem before the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 27, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the New York Jets at Levi Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers leads the team in a 'call to attention' during the anthem, prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 23-3. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Eli Harold #57, Eric Reid #35 and Marquise Goodwin #11 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 24-13. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 24: Eli Harold #57, Eric Reid #35, Marquise Goodwin #11 and Louis Murphy #18 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline as Adrian Colbert #38 stands with them in solidarity, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Levi's Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Jaguars 44-33. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers leads the team as they kneel and stand together during the anthem prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the 49ers 26-23. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Eli Harold #57, Eric Reid #35, Marquise Goodwin #11 and Louis Murphy #18 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the anthem as Reuben Foster #56 and Adrian Colbert #38 stand in solidarty, prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The 49ers defeated the Rams 34-13. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
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Reid sees Jenkins as a ‘black figurehead’ for NFL owners

The bidding of the owners in this case is to protect their financial interests. Reid described a point in the meeting in which Houston Texans owner Bob McNair brought up player protests as “the elephant in the room” and Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula chimed in noting sponsors that he had lost in the wake of protests.

“‘We need to put a band-aid on this, and we need a black figurehead to do it,'” Reid said of Pegula’s stating in the meeting.

Reid then said that McNair told players in the meeting to “make sure to tell your comrades to stop that protesting business” as a condition of the league offer of funds for the Players Coalition.

For Reid, of course, that condition was a non-starter. And for Jenkins to have accepted those terms in his eyes places Jenkins as the “black figurehead” for the owners in a compromised cause.

Jenkins has not responded to Reid’s latest allegations. But this is certainly a conversation that’s not over.

 

 

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